ATENEO-Motolite head coach Oliver Almadro is elated with the lessons his Lady Eagles will get from school heroes Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado of Creamline in the best-of-three Finals series of Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference.
As Game One fires off on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Arena in San Juan City, Almadro said that this series between the Lady Eagles and Cool Smashers will showcase the current and past talents of Ateneo.
“Parang Ateneo-Ateneo pa rin eh,” Almadro said.
The new Ateneo coach expressed his respect to the past Ateneo stars as this batch of the Lady Eagles battle Valdez, Morado, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano and former mentor Tai Bundit, who are all on the opposing side seeking to deliver Creamline’s second straight title.
“They are legends. They are the idols of our players. Sila nagsimula kung ano meron ang Ateneo,” he said. “Itong mga players ang magtutuloy. May connection pa rin sila.”
Ateneo-Motolite and Creamline split their two-round battle in the eliminations with the Cool Smashers trouncing a depleted Lady Eagles, who missed key players Kat Tolentino, Maddie Madayag, Ponggay Gaston and Kim Gequillana. But the full-force UAAP squad shocked the Reinforced Conference champions in their second round duel winning in five sets last month.
Almadro just wants his players Tolentino, Madayag, Gaston, Bea de Leon, Deanna Wong, Jules Samonte and rookie Vanie Gandler to prove that they can give a good Finals series with a club team.
“Well, we don't have to prove anything to anybody else naman. We just have to prove na kaya namin,” he said. “This is Creamline's league. UAAP is our league.”
“Whatever it is na ibigay niyo, kukunin namin learning namin 'yun. Bibigay din namin 'yung kaya namin. Kung ano 'yung matutunan namin, we will accept it. They’re our sisters,” he added.